Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quoting a Real life Acid Attack Victim

Today was a tiring and dusty day. Despite this the day was a learning lesson. I boarded the metro train from Vishwavidyalaya that was to terminate at the Huda City centre. Since the train flags off from there, there is no dearth of seats and I lazily happened to find one. After about three stations, two girls got in. One may have been in her early twenties. The other one sat a seat away from me due to which I didn't bother to look at her. A little later as I opened my eyes from a forced slumber, I could see the women seated in front staring tirelessly at a person seated on my seat. Initially I didn't care two hoots about it but later when I saw at the glass enclosure opposite me, I saw a partially disfigured face. I was taken aback. When I peeped with the left corner of my eye, as intently as a detective, I saw a woman with a half burnt face. The skin on the left side of her face seemed to have melted to acid. A few fingers from her left hand were also missing. My sixth sense told me that she may have been an acid attack victim. As soon as the aunty in black saree got off, I decided to have a word with her. And skid to the seat next to her. She was aghast because she was expecting her friend to sit on the vacant seat. I apologized while trying to wear an innocent expression. I asked for two minutes of her time to which she didn't refuse. Below is a written transcript of our translated conversation where in I use the initials 'R' for myself and 'H' to address her.

R: "Will you permit me to write your story?"
H: "Are you a story writer? Why do you want to make me famous?"
R: "No I am a blogger and a not so famous story writer and poet." H: "What do you want to know?"
R:"Your story if you want to tell me"
H: "I am an acid attack victim as you are seeing. My ex-boyfriend attacked me when I decided to not put up with his obssesiveness. Rest is history. My parents tried to get me treated but this is the best Indian doctors offered me. I want to go abroad for re-constructive surgery and I am saving up for it." R: "I see that you are wearing a very pretty top. Suits you well."
H: "Thank you. Yes I don't like to hide my scars."
R: "Yes I see that and I am inspired by your guts. What drives you?"
H: "Life. It goes on."

I was jaw dropped at her words of wisdom, my eyes popped out in amazement. That is when a lady's voice interrupted us reminding her of the next station they had to get down at. We parted with a polite farewell. As she was getting down she thanked me for trying to know her story. As I saw her melt in the crowd, I pondered at the lovely lesson those three words she uttered in the end, taught me. Indeed, life goes on!


Andrea said...

wow! That is quite a story. I bet you wish her stop had been further away.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this story! That girl's resolve is very inspiring.